Under the Same Moon, Jan Cristaudo Exhibition, Rose’s Review


Jan Cristaudo: Exhiibition Under the Same Moon, courtesy artist

The vitality and effervescence of colour in the exhibition, Under the Same Moon an exhibition by Jan Cristaudo at the Incinerator Art Space, Sydney recently was extraordinary.

The splendour and power of her colour palette are etched across her paintings with confidence, warmth and the miracle of nature and its changing hues and moods.

The clarity of her artistic perception is wondrous embedded as it is in optimism, joy and a celebration of life.


Jan Cristaudo, Burano, courtesy artist

“Colour has always fascinated me. It is the first thing I see then comes shape and form. As an abstract artist I use colour to interpret the way I see the world” Jan articulated.

Jan Cristaudo lives on the Pittwater Peninsular, in Sydney and this coastal landscape is a cherished backdrop and the context for much of her work. She has been painting and exhibiting for twenty five years but has loved abstract art since she was a small child.

About two years ago Jan travelled away from her studio and into the desert. In this location she observed and documented the effects of natural light on different colours, patterns and forms as the moon cast its own spell on the desert terrain.

Jan Cristaudo: Nothing Yet Everything, courtesy artist

Jan Cristaudo: hanging her work Nothing Yet Everything, courtesy artist

Under the Same Moon is her second exhibition at the Incinerator Art Space,and reflects her nocturnal observation of the influences of the moon on two contrasting environments, the desert and the coast.

According to Jan “our coastal landscapes and those of the outback desert could not be more diverse. Yet the same moon shines over them both. My exhibition has been inspired by that connection.”

Jan Cristaudo: Arid Zone, courtesy artist

Jan Cristaudo: Arid Zone, courtesy artist

Arid Zone is the catalyst for the desert series of paintings and Many Moons the nucleus for the coastal series. They complement the dichotomy within the subject matter and create a lilting harmony.

The lyrical narrative within the exhibition is steadfastly colour orientated but Jan’s appreciation of light and its properties is beautifully demonstrated. In Arid Zone she reads light like Arthur Streeton and uses colour like Mac Betts.

The sweep of the desert sands, rock against the celestial cobalt blue sky, the markings of the earth and time are all carved with deft lines and layered with the tones of the desert.

The rusted landscape and black scorched crevices vividly contrast with the radiance and lucidity of the iconic Australian desert sky.

The depth and complexity of the desert explodes with the colours and patterns of an ancient land shaped by heat and wind. The moon’s light beams are awash in this abstract landscape of painterly strokes, arresting breadth and challenging depth.

Jan Cristaudo: A Silent Song, courtesy artist

Jan Cristaudo: A Silent Song, courtesy artist

In A Silent Song amber light wafts into the rocky gorge as the moon spills its liquid light and caresses the desert with the magic of night.

The shine and lustre of black releases and intensifies the colours of the earth. The rich vitality of the desert is breathtaking and its stillness and spirituality lingers.

The silvery moon gently trickles muted light and whispers an echo of the fading day. Scraps of blue sky twinkle as the pale wisps of greys and the feathery charcoal blacks of darkness permeate.

A mist seeps over the landscape covering it with a softness that melts and drips into time. Erie darkness outlines tree trunks and the horizontal wave of blackness gives structure and form to this potent and composite creation.

The painting resonates with a musical coherence that is poetic and pure.

Desert Moon

Jan Cristaudo: Desert Moon, courtesy Artist

A fine line of white light meanders across the surface of Desert Moon connecting night and day, light and dark, pale and variegated.

The smudged grey lines weave a path across the vast, empty earth and the isolation of the desert pervades as the viewer speculates on time and place.

The moon illuminates the desolate harsh landform with a yellow glow and highlights the textural elements of barrenness.

But ever present in the painting is the beauty and magnificence of the desert.

The changing black night falls and coats the sky with a rhythmical haze of grey as a bird like wing span of black thin lines hover.

This is brilliantly constructed and orchestrated with balance, harmony and the endless space of the desert environment. The artist’s affinity with the desert is ingrained in every brush stroke.


Jan Cristadou: White Ghosts, courtesy Artist

Two paintings Ghost Gum and Tanglewood were exquisitely paired in the exhibition. The pulse and illusive patterns of nature registered a melodious chord in these mellow artworks.

In Ghost Gum the painting and markings of the burnt tree trunks is tactile and eloquently exposes the softness of the bark and the tracks of fire in the grey and ebony lines of the brush strokes.

The smoky vapour of grey drifts and the ethereal link to life and light is subtly evoked.


Jan Cristadou: Tanglewood, courtesy Artist

The lushness of new life bursts in the touches of green In Tanglewood. The patterns of hieroglyphs are nature’s impulses of growth and change and capture the essence of cycles.

In direct contrast are the coastline bays and inlets painted with the movement and rhythm of the sea in Many Moons.

many-moons1-e1475799500591The diverse tonal variations explore the shallows and the deep of the ocean with gripping intensity and translucence. The lights from the factories on shore radiate warm sparks that smoulder a marigold shine. The paint’s patina amplifies the light from the moon and highlights the white foam that flows and retreats. Jan’s control in the choice and application of colour is reminiscent of Brett Whitley’s paintings of Sydney Harbour.

Patches of light peep through the cobalt sea and shadows dance through the swelling waters. Rocky outcrops drizzle with the erosion of the ever lapping waters.

The rhythmic flow of waters swirl and surge as the coastal lines are mapped with a fluency and beat that is animated.

Purple streaks of paint drift cautiously creating soft boundaries and compositional integrity.


Jan Cristadou: River Bed, courtesy Artist

Jan Cristaudo has revelled in the diversity and moods within landscapes and has applied colour and the light of moon beams to create an evocative and colour saturated exhibition of abstraction that defines her vibrant style.

Rose Niland, Special Features NSW, The Culture Concept Circle, 2016

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